Promoting passion in book collecting

A Memorial Day Barbecue

Get the coals burning

Quick, what is the first thing you think of when someone says “What are you doing this Memorial Day?” Most likely, a common comeback would be, “We are having a barbecue.” So that got me thinking…where did that word originate? Reay Tannahill in Food in History states:

The northern part of Hispaniola, one of the Spanish islands, had never been properly settled, the early pioneers having done little more than ship in some cattle and pigs. These, left to their own devices, had flourished, so that when ship-wrecked sailors, runaway servants and other kinds of vagabond began to take refuge on the island, the food supply presented o problems. From surviving Caribs they learned the old island trick of smoke-drying mean on greenwood lattices erected over a fire of animal bones and hides. The caribs called the technique “boucan,” which passed into French as “boucanier” and gabe the outcasts their name of buccaneers. In Spanish the greenwood lattice was called “barbacoa,” which ultimately became ‘BARBECUE’.

What is the genesis of “Memorial Day?”

Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been exteded to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service.

Finally, let’s Honor americans and eat!

First, I found a recipe for Barbecue Sauce from the U.S. Army

Yield 100. Portion 1/4 Cup


2-1/2 cups Vinegar, Distilled (1-1/3 lbs)

1qt + 2 cups Tomato Paste, Canned (3-1/2 lbs)

1qt + 3 cups Catsup (3-2/3 lbs)

1qt + 3 cups Water (3-2/3 lbs)

3-1/4 cups Brown Sugar, packed (1-lb)

3 Tbs Salt (1-7/8-oz)

1 cup Mustard, prepared (8-7/8-oz)

1 Tbs Red Pepper, ground (1/4-oz)

2-7/8 cups Onions, fresh, chopped (1-lb)

3-3/4 cups Celery, fresh, chopped (1-lb)

1/4 cup + 1-2/3 Tbs Garlic powder (1-5/8-oz)

1 Tbs Chili powder, dark, ground (1/4-oz)

3 Tbs Liquid Smoke (1-7/8-oz)


1. Combine vinegar, tomato paste, catsup, water, sugar, salt, mustard, red pepper, onions,

celery, garlic, chili powder, and liquid smoke (optional).

2. Bring to a boil; reduce heat; cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until sauce is blended.

CCP: Internal temperature must reach 145 F. or higher for 15 seconds. Hold for service at 140 F. or higher.

A President that loved his Barbecue:

“After announcing that he would not be seeking re-election, President Johnson hosted a party on the White House lawn to thank over 200 friends for their support… . The party was a Texas-style barbecue. The ribs were prepared by Walter Jetton… ”

Walter Jetton’s Mop for
All Barbecue Meats

Jetton’s original recipe made 6 quarts, enough to mop a whole cow. I have modified it and reduced it here to make about 1 quart. He recommends you mix all the ingredients and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator.

2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground bay leaf
1 teaspoon American chili powder
1 teaspoon Louisiana Hot Sauce
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/6 pint vinegar
3 cups beef stock
3 ounces oil
1 teaspoon MSG

Walter Jetton’s Barbecue Sauce

According to his obit in TIME Magazine, Jetton bragged that his barbecue sauce would “tickle the tongue of your Grandma’s shoe.” In his book, Jetton wrote “This is the secret of the ages I am giving you here, and I would not be surprised if wars have been fought over less. Use this as a plate or table sauce with beef, chicken, pork, or almost anything else. Don’t cook things in it. Combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and strain. About 2 1/2 cups.

1 cup tomato ketchup
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon American chili powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups water
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 bay leaves
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons chopped onion
4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon paprika
Dash of black pepper

Remember McJordan Burgers

And to end this Memorial Day celebration, I found this article about McJordan Barbecue sauce:

BISMARCK, N.D. – A man who used to own McDonald’s restaurants in North Dakota is about $10,000 richer after selling a 20-year-old container of McJordan barbecue sauce to a buyer in Chicago.

The sauce was used on McJordan Burgers, named for basketball icon Michael Jordan. The promotional item was sold in limited markets for a short time in the 1990s, when Jordan led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships.

Mort Bank, of Bismarck, saved the gallon jug of sauce after selling his McDonald’s restaurants in Bismarck-Mandan and Minot in 1996.

“It was in my basement and I would look at it occasionally,” he told The Bismarck Tribune. “I thought it would be worth something someday.”

Bank advertised the sauce on eBay, saying: “A once in a lifetime chance to own the rarest of rare Michael Jordan and McDonald’s collectible!” It sold for $9,995 to a buyer from Chicago whom Bank has not identified.

Bank told the Chicago Tribune that the buyer was not Jordan himself. Jordan opened a steakhouse in Chicago last year.

“I’m sure he’s a Bulls or Michael Jordan fan, and hopefully he’s not going to put it on his ribs or his burger,” Bank told KXMB-TV of the buyer. “But it’s up to him; he can do whatever he wants with it.”

Bank said he has at least three storage units full of McDonald’s memorabilia and other collector’s items that he has been selling on eBay for three years. He has sold items to buyers as far away as China, Japan, Brazil and Europe, though never for as much money as the sauce garnered.

“I’m pretty ecstatic,” he told the Bismarck Tribune. “You never know what is going to be a hot item.”

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This entry was posted on May 27, 2013 by in Memorial Day.
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